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5 Tips for Outdoor Grilling (+ A Recipe for Steak Fajitas)

This summer, get your outdoor grilling on with these tips and this recipe from Aly Romero’s cookbook Gas Fire Heat.

The taste of summer is cold watermelon, dripping ice cream, and smoky barbecue.

Grilling outdoors is summer tradition and a fantastic way to enjoy delicious meals while spending quality time with your family. The better you get at it, the more they’ll want you to cook for them, which is why we have some tips and a recipe for steak fajitas that is sure to impress everyone, even your mother-in-law.

5 Tips for Outdoor Grilling

Here are five tips to help you master the grill and and set the stage for awesome family gatherings:

1. Keep Your Grilling Area Organized and Shaded

Keep your grilling area well-organized. Arrange all your tools, seasonings, and ingredients within arm’s reach. Use a dedicated table or cart to hold everything you need. This setup not only makes the grilling process smoother but also helps avoid accidents or misplaced items, keeping the focus on enjoying the cooking experience.

And as for shade, do I really need to go into detail? The grill is hot enough already, you don’t need to be standing out in the summer sun too. Hot spatulas, plates, and hands don’t really mix.

2. Use the Two-Zone Cooking Method

The two-zone cooking method involves creating a direct heat area and an indirect heat area on your grill. For a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side. For a gas grill, leave one burner off or on low. This technique allows you to sear meats over high heat and then move them to the cooler side to finish cooking. It helps prevent burning and ensures your food is cooked evenly.

3. Use Grill Mats or Baskets

A grill is a grill, but a grill with accessories is like a well-stocked kitchen. Grill mats or baskets are excellent for cooking delicate items like fish or vegetables that might fall through the grates. These accessories allow you to grill a variety of foods without worrying about them sticking or falling apart. They also make cleanup a lot easier.

4. Rest Your Meat After Grilling

It might sound posh, but after you’ve finished grilling, let your meat rest for about 5–10 minutes before slicing. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish. Simply cover the meat with foil and set it aside. This small step can make a big difference in the quality of your grilled meals.

5. Clean the Grill Grates and Restock

As much as you want to get to cooking right away, and as much as you don’t want to be out in the sun for one second longer than you have to be, clean clean clean! Keeping your grill grates clean is essential for maintaining good flavor and preventing sticking. Before each grilling session, heat the grill and use a grill brush to remove any residue from previous cooking. For stubborn residue, dip the brush in water before scrubbing. Regular cleaning also helps prolong the life of your grill.

And running out of fuel in the middle of grilling can be frustrating. Keep an extra bag of charcoal or a spare propane tank on hand to ensure you have enough fuel to complete your cooking. Restock as soon as you know you have to. You’ll be glad you did when you don’t have to wait five hours to eat the meal you planned.

Steak Fajitas

from Gas Fire Heat by Aly Romero

Find More Outdoor Cooking Recipes from Aly Romero

The cover of the cookbook Gas Fire Heat.

Gas Fire Heat

Shaelyn Topolovec earned a BA in editing and publishing from BYU, worked on several online publications, and joined the Familius family. Shae is currently an editor and copywriter who lives in California’s Central Valley.

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